A good gear shop can be like a temple for adventure seekers. There are unmistakable signs of the wild on the weather-worn buildings that compel passers-by to stop. The old skis crossed and mounted on doors. Tattered prayer flags. Faded and torn posters in the windows from previous generations. There’s even a familiar smell – something between sweat and sap.
I’m not talking about your town’s outdoor co-op chain. This is something so much more enchanting than a good return policy or an anniversary sale. I’m talking about the gear shops that inspired those big-box outdoor markets.
These are the shops off the beaten path that are run by eccentric climbers and skiers. They may keep odd hours or have complicated store policies, but we jump through the hoops because those knotty pine walls and adventure veterans hold secrets to new and exciting places.
At just eight years old, Goat’s Beard Mountain Supplies, in the tiny hamlet of Mazama, Washington, is a gear shop temple and manager CB Thomas and his wife, Micki, aim to keep it that way.
Just read.this article. What a life you’ve carved out for yourself and Mickey. So happy for you! What you did was courageous all those many years ago! Couldn’t be prouder for you and what you’re doing to follow a path we could all learn from!